Everyone in business school and in law school hears this question a lot. How did your summer go? Did you like the work you did? How did you like the firm and the people there? Do you want to go back? It’s what a first year asks a second year at Kellogg. And what a second years asks a third year in law school. Well, in a recent question from one of my readers, I was asked how things are going at my law firm (Vedder Price) this summer. See below for the question; and below that for my response.
You said you were employed at a law firm. How is that going? Are you working for the litigation department or the corporate side? What is your area of specialization? Would you mind describing a typical day as a summer associate?
Thanks for reading and for your question about Vedder Price.
Overall, my experience so far with Vedder Price has been quite good. As a bit of background information, I was lucky enough to get a job there as a first year law student, which was especially nice last year during the middle of the economic downturn. So this is actually my second summer at the firm.
During the last summer, I worked across many of the practice areas. I worked with the corporate group and investment services group, and I also worked with the litigation and employment groups. Within those groups, the assignments always varied, where I worked on mergers and acquisitions deals, construction litigation cases, non-profit litigation memos, executive compensation negotiations, and employment law disputes. I really enjoyed my time there and appreciated to opportunity not only to get a wide range of legal experiences but also to do so during my first summer.
This summer, my experience with the Firm has been a lot more focused, but still very positive overall. It started at the beginning of the summer, when I was attending all the social events and getting to know people, even when I was still working at my first employer, a management consulting firm. The firm had dinners, happy hours, baseball games and WhirlyBall just to name a few activities.This really confirmed how much I liked Vedder Price.
Just this week, I officially started back up at the firm, and I joined the firm’s Corporate group. Specifically, I am working with the Finance and Transactions team, which is headed up by the firm CEO and President, Mr. Michael Nemeroff. Ironically, I will be meeting up with tomorrow afternoon to talk more about the group; it will be good to chat with him more about the firm and how things are looking for the future.
In general, the Finance and Transactions group is split up into two parts: Mergers & Acquisitions and Financing.
The Mergers and acquisitions group works on every aspect of corporate strategy, dealing with the buying, selling, dividing and combining of different companies and similar entities. Most M&A transactions touch on a variety of specialty legal practice areas, including intellectual property, employee benefits, executive compensation, taxation, antitrust law, environmental, real estate and estate and financial planning.
The Financing and Secured Transactions attorneys represent borrowers, lenders, and mezzanine financiers in a broad array of transactions. Lending clients, including commercial finance companies, banks, trustees, credit providers and other institutional lenders, receive the benefit of Vedder Price’s experience in structuring asset-based, general commercial and cash-flow loan transactions, loan restructurings and equipment leasing transactions.
In general, most new F&T lawyers at Vedder Price start off working both with the M&A group and the financing group. Then after spending about a year working across the groups, they tend to choose one path or the other depending on their interest, work flow, and partners they tend to work with. I suspect I’ll be taking the same approach during my time.
This past week, I’ve spent a bit more time on the M&A side, helping with contract reviews and due diligence. But since I’m only at the firm for a few weeks, it’s hard to see the full deal. Further, I’ve spent equally as much time meeting folks at the firm as I have working on projects. So far, it’s been great, and I look forward to seeing how the rest of the time here goes. And when I do, I’ll be sure to update on everything.
Stay tuned to hear how the rest of the summer goes.